it was the seminal question Bunim wrestled with all throughout the casting process, who was gonna be the star? Pedro or Puck?
Puck: why do you say Pedro's name first?
Bunim: i was the first queenpin in television. nobody knows who Murray is. even Andy is more famous. i'm still pissed off my shoe-in show-in choice of Cara or whatever from Alaska who never experienced a day without snow blowing in her face and those cute orange fish gloves she always wore HAD to be in one of these shows. as the princess part, the main girl, the genteel Julie Gentry. the bumpkin whose eyes were wide as the city. but NO, MTV men got in the way of my dream! fuck em. i'll take her and her live-in Bama and her pretty dog of a son named Noah, too. Simpleton Sally we were calling her in the booth, she of the of course Yukon stock and harsh upbringing in the harsh elements, noble outdoorswoman who followed by wolf instinct and bear intimacy rather than street lights. the scripts wrote themselves, such as reality-show scripts are written and go. a real study in contrasts. i'm still sore over this, so for revenge i've granted myself access to all the locked hidden doors in the house this year so i can finally make the show i want! i'm the executive producer, woman writer, and CEO of this bitch!
Puck: whaddaya say, Mary-Ellen, who was the better lay, me or Pedro? that's easy in the Big City.
Bunim: it's hard cos you were the more thoughtful lover, Pedro was the aggressive hard fuck. but Pedro did remember my first name has a hyphen, so that just makes you dumb, Puck. dumb as a puck.
Pedro: with me, her bum was humming.
on that careful fateful day the Samurai Seven---the cast which would change reality tv into a force for good---took their spots in the famous house.
Bunim: this house, which is really a cantilever apartment with trolley wires, was famous the moment you stepped in it. it will be an icon location forever. there will be tours. paid tours on hover-trolleys, with Rice-A-Roni passed around in drug baggies on the deck of the trolley. people in the future, say 2030, will point to it and tug on their pops to ask him when did reality tv stop being educational television which rivaled PBS? PBS headquartered here in San Fran had to start their own reality show to counter our show, something about soggy bottoms.
Joanna: i'm from London, where it always rains. i don't speak Russian. hi.
Cory: i'm from Fresno where everything is free. i've been in jail this whole time during the focus-group trials of the casting process, i stole a bunch of clothes and skateboard sweatshirts whatever. they didn't have those bonemeal tags on them, i had to rip them off.
Puck: i like you.
Cory: i'm gonna be the perfume queen! i never knew my mother, she abandoned me, and my dad abused me, that's not the usual combination. they said i was born as a drop on a Murphy bed and left for dead. my mom's seed. whatever, i'm angry now, adult angry, poised at the world and pissed at it, and i became a Christian soldier. if it costs me my life i will wage the war on Christmas to get Christmas back in the stores! i want my mall full of Mary! i'm gonna be the queenpin of suburban subdivisions! my time at Nordstrom was not suspicious...
Bunim: and that's why I like her.
Judd: i'm from New York and i always win. no, not the cool New York of the '70s, the sissy gentrified one. i'm an alt-right comic-book creator and artist and writer and drawer. and inker. penciler.
Puck: alt-right? what the fuck is that?
Judd: you'll see. i'm way ahead of my time with what i do. my comics are so important they speak to the very nature of free speech itself. and million-dollar clean water for all, no more extreme pipe exchanges. it's time for the conservative voices to have their own Simpsons before all of our brothers and sisters on the right side get silenced forever.
Rachel: you're cute. i'm ready to set up camp. i guess i'm this season's babe. sorry, Cory in the San Fran house.
Cory: stuff it, SF sister. bitch. i said that out loud, i don't care. that's what MTV told me they wanted. MTV told me to tone it down, but fuck em.
Rachel: i'm excitedly and extremely liberal so i guess i came to the right city. i'm terrified of skateboards and other motor-functional devices with strange silvery axels and bolts and weird waxy wheels on them. George Bush was a mistake, it should have been and i voted twice for Dukakis, i don't want to see Dukakis riding down a lonely crooked road some time in the future on CNN bumping into strangers nobody knowing who he is cos he never made President.
Judd: you're making me wet my pants, Rachel.
Pedro: we live on the Crookedest Street In The World. guess who made it so crooked?...
Puck: hello, all, so pleased to meet each and every one of your acquaintance. i'm Puck. that's Puck, not Punk. and certainly not Fuck. i want to be called David but Bunim says no. i'm extremely well-mannered and soft-spoken, never uttered a word of hate toward anyone until i was in this toxic environment. i follow all traffic rules, never been issued even a parking ticket. my dream is to build the ultimate soapbox-derby car, one that is waterproof. when i win the Big Race i want to cry tears of joy in the rain and the adoring cheering crowd to be able to distinguish the two.
Mohammed: King Mohammed, bow down. my father was pretty famous but petty, he was part of the original Wailers. take a good look at these antsy grimey fullon blowdried scruffy dreads i have on, you tap them and dust falls out, they're being shorn in short order. i'm gonna form my own depressive-metal band. we open for Billie Joe Armstrong who ditched Green Day in favor of darker punk, more if Black Flag was hardcore. Billie only wears black ill-fitting T shirts now. it's still novel to be a black rocker in the '90s, still, just barely. we play at the 42nd Street Moon stage next to the locked theatre room where PBS is experimenting with softcore, baby steps. i gotta get all that ridiculous reggae from my youth outta my system, make it a more downward system. all that bubbly peace love unity ganja gravity was making my Mother Earth Soul Glow from thoughtful sex.
Pam: Pam here, gang. fam? i dunno. i get sick all the time and i don't know what to do. i'm a C student so obviously my parents disowned me long ago. hey, maybe i need more Vitamin C as a C student? i wander the streets looking for shelter soup. my eyes widen when i pass a bank of windows and i see all that yummy froufrou elite expensive extensive country-club food i can never have in my tummy. my goals in life are to work my way up from the student section of the Shun Fat Supermaket to the Taco Bell Live Mas Student Section even tho i despise sport to a Mollie Stone's Markets and maybe finally to the promised land: the deli of a Bristol Farms. to make ends meet i cosplay as a fondling female Smithsonian panda in that one club in the far corner of the city for sick Japanese businessmen diplomats who come to town, a panda they can reach through the gate to "pet". i tell them i need more Vitamin C and they talk about Vitamin Me...
Judd: you have really wide eyes, Pam. like you're a battle angel or something.
Pedro is last to introduce. he sways into the room like a Phantom Count howler monkey, his eyes darting all the edges of the punch bowl, his eyebrows with that Jim Carrey Mask look of creepy archness, his jagged eyeballs slanting down to skirts and belts, his smile triangular and to the side showing teeth. he jumps onto the hanging fern without it moving to a swing in the slightest, no noise from its chain link.
Pedro: well well well. my subjects. *waving* come on into the living room, everyone, i wanna show you somethin'...
all season long the residents in the regal residence will take shots together and bowl while on bowls together and pass by a bank of tvs showing through the open-air huge screen of window of the Radioshack down the block. everyone will be able to see these windows unto the world, not just the houseguests. you can see Pam most days walking aimlessly to her next meal scouting and shivering, or Puck riding cassette tapes taped together like a skateboard down that street with the tech shop.
in the world today, President Bump is holding a council meeting in the wrong room. he receives a phone call from Vlad Putin who sings Bump sneeringly a version of "Home For The Holidays" in a broken Russian-tinged English accent:
Bump: very funny, Vlad. i hate being stuck here in cold snowy Washington for the holidays. while my son is on a paradise beach all by himself. like i wanted to be as a kid, maybe then my bones would have healed on that beach. did you see my new blueprints for the Wall? it has those Game of Thrones pointy arrow things on the poles, very medieval.
Putin: that looks exactly like the gate fence whatever that had George Bush's head stuck on a pole like a stuck pig. very controversial, i don't like that.
Bump: ah Bush, everyone's first President, the one where you first were cognizant of what the President did, he was your Second Father protecting you from outside invaders. much like Mean Gene, there would be no wrestling without Mean Gene's dulcet velvet tones, he was the one who gatewayed all us kids into that world in the first place, to the ring stirrups, the ring suspenders, he was our introducer. without an introducer there is no life, no thug life, no Junkyard Dog. it just was never the same when the F turned to a E and they became that panda-saving organization. ironically, Mean was the nicest man who ever lived.
Putin attacks the Bermuda field of green of the National Championship of College Football with his AVANGARD missiles which blow a dirt hole open in the centre cut grass but none of the players or the ref move a muscle and continue studiously with the game.
Urban Meyer: where are the missile inventors?
Putin: nevermind Urban, they were too avant-garde for Russia, i gave them each a work-study visa to America. i scotch-guarded their mouths so they wouldn't reveal their secrets so they could make it big in America and get lots of money for their invention.
Kirk Herbstreit: i know what you're thinking but it's untrue. look at me, i'm the very embodiment of All-American. i lived on your street. why wasn't i chosen for The Bachelor? i never took any marijuana, only greens, i'm an athlete. college football is the greatest game of all time, and the greatest iteration of football, cos when you think about how young these players are, you can't help but think to yourself that all of this must be illegal.
Eye Luggage: miss me, nerds? on the show? we had an extended honeymoon my hammer and i. extended honeymoon crushed it. i know what you're thinking but it's untrue. i don't let her walk all over me, she wants to stomp my little toes but that hurts and not in the good way. i'm the him in this relationship. how about that Jackie Fuchs, huh!?
Dirg: from Hell's Kitchen?
Eye: no, the one from the Pretenders! i mean from Jeopardy! what a fox that Jackie Fox! and what a revolution! i don't mean the all-girl thing, i mean that she was a sexual-assault survivor and stayed brave in the face of it even against her own bandmates' faulty "recollections". this puts the dimmer for me on Joan Jett's jet rockets which sucks. Jackie's show success highlit it. maybe she'll be believed now that it's on tv.
Dirg: but it didn't. only the google scholars who learn everything from wikipedia know.
Laertus: what a refined woman all around. that is true power, the power of overcoming.
Dirg: speaking of fox, The Masked Singer? that is veering dangerously close to making furry acceptable and mainstream. btw speaking of, who is your mystery furry?
Laertus: in due time. he's not a furry or a CG character in the classic sense. even best buds need to keep secrets or they won't be best buds for long. kibosh on the bud and bud, marijuana and beer.
Dirg: so never?
Laertus: i've been so busy with school i've missed the latest Star Wars cartoon. was it any good?
Dirg: i want to say yes. the voice of Princess Leia on it made fun of the voice of Christine Blasey Ford.
Laertus: oh, so there's my built-in excuse. as Leia? for shame, Blasey should do Leia's voice as the true champion of women's rights.
Dirg: Christine should do it in a blasé crazy voice to rub it in. psychological voice. hey it's all comedy, all comedienne with an enne and an end, right Louis CK? young upstart male bald comic with a mustache starting in the San Fran underground this weekend that Louis...
Laertus: whatever happened to freedom of speech? i mean the right to speak freely and not have your voice made to sound like it's a weird voice. how was the funeral?
Dirg: i wasn't allowed in the room but i heard Stan Lee's final song through the mouse cheesehole screen to send Stan on his way to the great beyond: "Spiderman '79" by Veruca Salt.
Eye: why does everyone say Louise is hotter than Nina?, that's just not true, it's the opposite. speaking of rooms, remember i can call the cops on you at any time, Dirg, i've got the goods on you forever for that incident you pulled pulling your penis on my purple eyes and displaying it as art rather than science. it's burned in my retinas after i wash all the purple off.
Dirg: she knows my name! *clutches his hands in a bouquet of palms and twinkles his eyes* when the clock struck midnight i wanted to fuck you in the pouring rain. i needed to heat up, it wasn't cold. no not you, Laertus, her, Eye!
at the Super Bowl, it's the San Diego Chargers and the Texas Cowboys down to the wire as the remaining seconds melt away like sharp sand glass. Rivers the family man tosses a delicately-prepared and blueprinted throw to the wide receiver left wide open in the endzone by the design of an uncounterable play. the infamous 2-point conversion. this is the lithe balletique pass that wins the Super Bowl for the Chargers, so perfect and matter-of-fact and the perfect throw to end the brutal year on a soft chess move. served with soft cheese and wine.
Doryce is eating Gladyce. out of house and home. the younger crone literally eats the entire aisle at the SF Shun Fat and doesn't gain a pound. Doryce flies on her side up and down the aisle as if on a broom but she is broomless.
Gladyce: you lucky bastard! how much is all this gonna cost me uh us? always us.
Doryce: it's just microwave popcorn.
Gladyce: you can get that anywhere! why are we in this specialty Store? it's the ballet, right? still inspiring. popcorn scares me, i push the POPCORN button on our microwave and it burns the damn bag thing down like i'm a bag or something. we need a new microwave.
Dirg: Ryan's dad Idris Elba, he's a cool dude. good representative of a freed man.
Doryce: rule of thumb: cook all popcorn bags for 2 Minutes on HIGH. the time it takes a colleged Bama to tucker out from sex with me. now suck my thumb, babe. not you, Dirg, Gladyce.
Pedro: i fell in love with The Real World after watching the L.A. season. where the Los Angeles Chargers come from. that Aaron with those Republican blond hair locks, he was special.
Puck: wait, so you're gay? i think you're swell, Pedro, but i'm scared of you.
Rachel: yeah i'm scared of you, Pedro, you're rough. you're nice but you're mean.
Pedro punches Rachel in the shoulders to loosen her up and has Puck look down as he pokes Puck's eyes Three Stooges-style.
Pedro: what? i'm just being playful. Punch and Judy. Puck, i think you need glasses, that would cut down on your bike-messenger accidents. of course i'm gay. i'm HIV-positive.
Cory: i hope you die, deserved, serves you right for your tortured laissez-faire beliefs.
Pedro: yes i was into BDSM while it was still new, i was an early adopter. ask the one club before there were clubs. oh but you're gonna help me out, Cory, you all will. see i'm concocting a formula, a purple potion, a certain amalgam of bubbles and ingredients and herbs and spices which will cure the AIDS i have and herald in a new revolution in science in which i will be its mad king. i'm already angry having contracted this disease simply because i wanted to love like everyone else. that is my single focus in life, to heal myself that i may heal others and the world and we can all go back to again loving. i'm an educator, and my classes are the talk of the town, i am very permissive. wanna see my scrapbook? i'm not a scientist, i'm a survivor.
Rachel: *flipping through Pedro's scrapbook* these are all Polaroids of various men and women with their butts turned toward the camera, you can't see any of their naked chests. and you pin various cloth scraps of their clothes to the corners of the pages.
Pedro: victims? test subjects? hardly. these are my friends, you are all my friends. i need everyone's fluids to match against my database so i eventually discover just the right combination. see in San Francisco we do sex San Franciscan style, which is really Cuban style, always in the butt, to extract the fluid, regardless of your sexual orientation. i need your fluids findings.
Rachel: i don't know about all this, seems a little solemn and Sodom.
Pedro: please don't reject my sex, sweet Rachel, i take it as a rejection of me. and i've already tried experimental theatre here down the block but they said i was too into experiments. and you reject my scrapbook, i worked hard on that book. and my studies. my school is the classroom of life, that expression hasn't become hackneyed yet. please, Rachel, i need your help or this experiment of humanity is a real failure. it increases the chances of success when we all come together. now everyone let us recongregate at my bedroom's bed.
Puck: the rain gets my dander up and i have horrible hay fever, i sneeze for days nonstop, all my blond hair coloring comes out, building up a mountain of mucus in my nose. it's so embarrassing not to have tissue at the ready in my shirtpocket. the snot just makes my acne worse.
Pedro smiles chilly and puts his arm tight around Puck's shoulder to reach Puck's neck to squeeze hard.
Pedro: i knew there was a reason they set this thing up right at Valentine's Day, those sneaky reality-show bastards, i know what they were driving at, what they wanted us to do! well, i give in, i knew there was a reason i liked you, Puck. i like you, Puck, but i love you, Puck. let the rain wash away all of your foul body grime.
Puck: you know in the van parked out back the producers nickname you AIDS Andy.
Puck sees in front of him the cameraman with the bushy mustache covering his mouth and bald spotted head peeking through his black MTV cap change out tapes and begin filming again. at least he wasn't peeing this time. this is the part in the script where the cast goes all together to their first dinner out in the city but in reality the cast and crew are filmed when they hung out at the refrigerator and talked cos everyone had forgotten to buy food for the house cos the premiere date was coming up looming. later, before prep and broadcast, this part is spliced with that sizzle-reel of that long 5-minute All-American Sizzler commercial with the people's faces and salad-bar nameplates blurred pretending those people are our cast so it looks like the cast went out to some fancy downtown restaurant.
Puck: *smiles mockingly* huh. the real world, ay?
Bunim: you're right, this isn't the real world. from now on, NO MORE TAPES!!!